Return to Headlines

FMCSD Receives Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant

Fort Madison Community School District receives Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant beginning Summer 2023

This $1 Million grant solidifies the FMCSD Beyond the Bell Afterschool Program for the next 5 years as well as expanding to offer Before School Opportunities beginning Fall 2023 at both local elementary schools.

The Fort Madison Community School District has been notified by the Iowa Department of Education that the district’s application for the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant has been approved! The 21st CCLC program’s purpose is to create community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, to meet State and local student standards in core academic subjects. This offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs, and to offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children. (USDOE guidance)

Fort Madison CSD will receive just over $1 million over the next five years to support before & after school programs for Fort Madison elementary school students. FMCSD has successfully piloted an afterschool program the past two years using ESSER funding to assess family and community needs with much success. During the pilot, over 300 students and their families participated, demonstrating the need for such a program in the community.   

“It has been so rewarding to watch these students grow and evolve in our Beyond the Bell programs over the past two years as they explored their interests and learned new skills with our incredible team,” said Keely Kangas, Fort Madison’s Extended Learning Program Coordinator. “I am excited to be working on sustaining out-of-school-time programs here in Fort Madison through our local community and I am very grateful for the 21CCLC grant to support us in that endeavor.” 

The 21st CCLC program, which is federally funded with grants administered by each of the states, helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading, math and science, and offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs. 

FMCSD will offer the Beyond the Bell Before and Afterschool programs for students at both Lincoln and Richardson Elementaries beginning in Fall 2023, aiming to continue to serve and expand to more than 200 students in our community each day.  Students will be provided with a free breakfast in the mornings, and a snack in the afternoons.  More details involving registration will be provided in late summer.  These out-of-school-time programs help support families in Fort Madison, ensuring that every student succeeds not only in academics but has the life skills necessary for personal success and responsible living.  FMCSD will continue to have an afterschool program at the Middle School funded through the remaining ESSER funds for the 2023-2024 school year.  

Beyond the Bell will continue to partner with local community organizations and businesses to expand our students’ opportunities. This year’s partners have included: Appleberry Orchard, Fort Madison YMCA, Fox Theater, Lee County Bank, Lee County Conservation, Lee County Health Department, Lee County ISU Extension, Pilot Grove Savings Bank, Putt Around, and Y Test Kitchen.

For more information on Iowa’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers please visit: